Before you lose yourself in the piazzas of Rome or the chic cafes in Paris, a pesky yet crucial to-do list requires completion. Planning a trip to Europe can seem daunting and tedious, but the more planning you put into your trip, higher the chances of having a trouble-free and successful vacation, hence the importance of creating an itinerary, figuring out your transportation options and your budget.
We have compiled a quick list on how you can plan your next trip to Europe in under 10 steps so you can get to check out Europe’s many attractions in no time!
Sort out all the documents you need!
Procuring documents from the relevant authorities takes a lot of time. For instance, it takes about a month or a month and a half from the date you submit your application to actually get your passport. Expedited services can hasten the process to approximately a week but that carries a larger fee, so you are best off handling this as soon as possible.
Already have a passport in place? Take a look at the date of expiry. Many countries do not allow you to enter if your passport is not valid for at least six months after your arrival date.
If you plan on renting a car when you are there, you might want to check up on the expiry date of your license too. Car rental companies require you to have a valid license from your country.
Depending on your country, you might be required to have a valid visa alongside your passport. Visas are annoyingly complicated and take a long time process so plan early. Diplomat Visa Agents in Delhi have a good reputation for visa assistance services.
Decide on your budget
Preparing the budget for your trip to Europe needs to be done during the early stages – even before you decide on the date, where you are flying to and what you plan to do. Certain countries are cheaper to visit than others but there are plenty of tricks to reduce your expenses. You could consider travelling during the offseason, book a budget hotel or something on Airbnb, or cut your trip short by a day or so.
Setting your budget during the early stages allows you to avoid disappointment; you won’t have to plan an elaborate vacation in the Swiss Alps only to discover it is not within your budget. There are plenty of budgeting apps made especially for travel such as TrabeePocket which can help you track your expenditure.
Pick where you want to go
Now that we have decided on your exact budget, let’s figure out our destination. Most visitors to Europe generally have a long list of spots they want to visit in the region so if you are in that category, this might be a bit tricky.
One way you can navigate this is by selecting one spot on your list and planning the entire trip around this attraction.
Your second option is to pick season locations. The best way of doing this is by visiting the countries’ official travel websites and checking their calendar for seasonal events like festivals or important holidays.
Protip; Take into consideration the weather when picking the destination. Too many people forget to do this and end up regretting afterwards.
Time for the itinerary and tickets
Before you book a round trip flight and a hotel room in s haste at the destination you decided on, you should plan your entire day by day guide for the trip. Research which cities and attractions are worth exploring and then check two things; if you can afford to visit these places and if you have the time to visit said locations?
If you are looking to keep costs down, look for different ways to travel. Every domestic journey does not need a flight trip – look into taking a bus or even a cruise!
In the event that creating an itinerary is too much of work for you, there are plenty of companies that plan tours from the time you leave your house to the time of return, but be warned they will cost more.
Once that step is done, you can move to book your air tickets. Do this before you book a hotel so that you can be flexible with the dates. Use multiple booking sites and discount airlines to keep costs down to a minimum.
Now it’s time to book your hotel
As with anything you book, earlier you book, the better. While it is easy to book the Marriot and be done with it, there are always some great deals at hotels that are as exotic and exciting as the destination. Look for eco-friendly hotels, organic farms, home-stays and more. Similar to booking your hotel, look around multiple sites and read reviews before making a decision. If you plan on getting a vehicle when you are there, you will have to book it at about this point. Even if you plan on using public transportation, you might have to book certain rail trips early on so do your research on it.
Do you need travel insurance?
Travel insurance comes in many forms; cancellation, flight cancellation, medical insurance and so on. Think about insurance once you have paid any major fees upfront. This allows you to consider the amount and ask yourself if insurance is necessary. Several airline companies and travel companies provide insurance along with the tickets. However, make sure that you carefully read the fine print and compare their offerings with other travel insurance packages to ensure you get the best deal. Additionally, check if the medical insurance covers trips abroad. If it does not, you might want to purchase additional medical insurance.
Pack a week ahead
It is very common to pack the night before you leave but this is the recipe for trouble. Booking a week early gives you enough time to make any changes. For example, if it is raining at your destination, you will have enough time to get a raincoat for yourself. With one week on the clock, check the weather, jot down a packing list and test your luggage to ensure it works fine.